A Christmas one-shot fluff of Elsanna. I really enjoy writing this pair and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to write a holiday piece for them. I don't own any of the characters used in the story, as they're property of Disney.
For as long as Elsa could remember, Anna usually had trouble rousing early on Christmas morning. She usually stayed awake well into the night, hanging last minute ornaments on the garland in the halls and, in her younger days, she used to sneak about the castle to try to find her presents. The bleary-eyed princess would stumble down the hallway towards the gigantic, fragrant pine tree long after the sun had risen and the servants would be practically bouncing with anticipation when she entered the room. Once she warmed up by the fireplace, Anna would once again resemble her traditionally feisty firebrand self. She would devour the scrumptious breakfast that the cook always lovingly prepared for the occasion and then she'd unwrap gifts and make a beeline outside to frolic in the snow.
Elsa was guilty of allowing herself to do more than her fair share of spying on Christmas. She would usually try to spare herself the pain that came along with watching her sister's life from her cloistered realm but on that day in December, Anna's unbridled joy always eclipsed her own unhappiness. In the earliest years of her isolation, the redhead would sit outside of her door and list the presents she received and rattled off the names of the snowmen she built, blissfully unaware that her sister had been watching over the festivities with a rare smile. As Elsa's powers grew more powerful and unpredictable through the later years of their childhood, she found it harder to bring herself to watch the holiday festivities, but she realized just how much her sister's exuberance meant to her. It stirred a storm in her heart because she wanted more than anything to be sharing it with her, but it also gave her a much needed sense that Anna would be fine without her. Whenever she found she couldn't even touch a pane of glass without sending a thousand cold fractals skittering, crackling across its surface, it was days like Christmas that promised her that Anna would be just fine. Her devoted sister would still slump against her door in the evening and tell her about her day, but Elsa found she had to hold back from saying anything for fear opening her mouth and uttering nothing more than a confession of adoration and a choked whimper.
This Christmas was decidedly different. The queen was optimistic that Anna would wake at the break of dawn like an overexcited child hopped up on sugarplum fairy fantasies. To be safe, the blonde kept a pile of official documents she had to attend to on her desk to buy herself some time in case her sister hadn't changed her ways. By nine o'clock, the usually serene royal had developed quite a severe case of restlessness and it took every ounce of her self control to keep her from busting down Anna's door with a column of ice. To her embarrassment, she used up her entire reserve of restraint in about twenty minutes and only managed to talk herself down to throwing open the doors majestically rather than breaking them down. When she actually came to the mahogany entryway, she was caught up in a sudden wave of excitement.
She had had no idea what to get her sister as a present, so she decided to conspire with the servants to whip the palace into the most luxurious winter wonderland they could manage. Along with the grand tree downstairs was a whole forest of smaller pines and firs that Elsa had lovingly arranged in the hallways to complement the heavily adorned garland. As a personal touch, she couldn't resist blanketing the dark greens with a fresh blanket of powdery snow. She spent all night scattering flurries throughout the halls, hoping for the moment when Anna would wake up in all of her wide-eyed glory. Elsa's only intention for the day was to ensure the redhead's happiness. She spent months trying to pick a physical gift that would mean anything to a girl who grew up in palatial splendor, and instead drew plans on how to make their first Christmas together in thirteen years absolutely perfect.
"Anna?" the blonde called sweetly as she nudged the door open. She poked her head in and laid eyes upon the sleeping form of her sister. A roguish grin sparked on her face and she crept over to Anna, crawling on top of the covers, "Wake up." She was surprised at first when Anna lazily shrugged and rolled over, but the princess opened one eye and looked up at her sister from under her eyelashes. The irresistibly coy glance would have worked had it not been for Elsa's urgency to get to the morning festivities.
"Five more minutes?" Anna yawned. Elsa rolled her eyes.
"I have been waiting for years to have another proper Christmas with you and you're going to ask me to hang on for five more minutes?" she asked, kissing Anna's forehead and taking the opportunity to make eye contact to properly showcase her impatience. The younger girl threw her arms around Elsa's neck and chuckled.
"I guess that wouldn't be very fair, would it?" she let go and allowed herself to sit up, bemused by Elsa's eagerness but charmed by it nonetheless. She had never stopped to wonder just how her sister felt about the holiday. Elsa had missed out on so many Christmases that she wasn't sure the queen would even know where to begin with them. Anna took Elsa's arm and allowed her to conduct the tour of the palace that she could just tell was on the blonde's mind.
The first step into the hallway was the most breathtaking sight Anna could recall ever waking up to. It looked like her sister had supplanted an entire corner of a secluded forest and dropped it outside of her door. There had to be at least twenty small trees and several neatly shaped piles of snow creating a sloping path down towards the stairs. Elsa watched Anna's face light up and she waved her hand to conjure up a snow cloud above their heads, much to her delight. It really didn't take much to amuse the princess, she noted, but it made her heart skip a beat when Anna wrapped her arms around her waist and covered her cheek in kisses as a sign of her sheer delight.
Elsa expertly guided her sister along the path she had etched out for them, barely able to contain her pride whenever Anna would marvel at one of the ice sculptures the queen had whipped up just hours before or when she reached up to touch the delicate flakes falling all around them. Once they got to the first floor, she brought her sister towards the kitchen and picked up a basket of food.
"Sorry to break tradition, but I asked the cook to pack something for our sleigh ride instead of a banquet. I hope you don't mind?" Elsa held the basket loosely in the crook of her arm and offered it to her sister.
"Sleigh ride? Elsa, you're the best!" Anna squealed. She reached into the basket and pulled out a warm, flaky Danish pastry and took a large bite. Her face glowed with excitement and Elsa led her outside promptly. Having come up with the plan relatively close to the last minute, she hadn't exactly had time to survey all of the eligible drivers in the area to find the perfect employee for the job. Luckily, though, they had a mutual friend who just perfectly fit the job description. The pair walked out through the palace gates to find Kristoff and Sven waiting, their sled at the ready.
"You didn't," Anna chuckled, marveling at the red and white suit Kristoff was wearing and the matching reigns that Sven proudly sported. The pair looked absolutely dapper, and the sled was adorned with a warm-looking plaid blanket and a few pillows. The princess turned to her sister, mouth full of the last bit of pastry to keep from laughing, "You're amazing! How did you get Kristoff to agree to wear something like that?"
The blonde ice harvester cleared his throat, "I can hear you, Anna." He laughed and took her hand to lightly kiss it and did the same for Elsa, adding a polite but gruff "milady". He then returned to Anna's question, "I think it looks dashing, for one thing. And besides that, it's Christmas and I was asked to escort the queen and princess and it seemed rude of me to show up in my usual attire. Your sister was kind enough to find something that fit me." Kristoff extended his arm to help the sisters into the seat of the sled and he stood at the front, whispering to Sven to avoid trailing off of the established route. The reindeer excitedly grunted his understanding and began trotting at Kristoff's masterful flick of the reigns.
Despite how much room there was on the bench, Anna scooted up as close to Elsa as possible and draped the blanket over them both. She didn't bother to grab for a pillow and instead rested her cheek on Elsa's shoulder, sighing contentedly. The blonde absentmindedly played with her hair and mentioned, "You're going out for a whirlwind winter tour and you're going to spend it like this?" It was admittedly hard to express disapproval when it came to the idea of cuddling.
Anna clucked her tongue mockingly, "I've always been able to see the town from my window. It's you I've been missing." As much as Elsa wanted to make a snappy counterargument, she found a startling amount of truth in that statement. After all, she understood exactly what Anna meant.
"Well, Kristoff wouldn't accept any monetary compensation so you at least have to pretend you're enjoying the actual ride," Elsa chuckled.
"Didn't I already tell you this was the best present anyone's ever gotten me?" the redhead replied, nuzzling up against her sister.
The three of them glided over the sloping hills of town at a leisurely pace, taking shortcuts through the cobbled streets that were just barely buried in a layer of snow, enjoying the smells of freshly baked bread and the sounds of caroling from within small, cozy homes. There was a suspended sense of peace both in the isolated edges of the woods and right in the heart of town. The sky was clear, sending blindingly brilliant flashes cascading off of the amassed snow banks. Elsa couldn't have concocted more perfect weather if she tried, she thought.
Kristoff picked a twisting path off of the main road for the final leg of the tour, one that ran past the docks to show off the harbor finally calm under a crown of frost. The sled cut through fresh powder as they pulled into a small valley that was partially covered from the afternoon sun by an arch of shadow. Elsa nudged Anna and with a flick of her wrist, she formed a squat snowman and raised a slender eyebrow. There was no need to speak her request aloud and Anna jumped at the opportunity. She dashed into the shade and began to roll the first lopsided sphere they'd use as a base for their snowman. She gestured towards the grinning Kristoff to join them and he proceeded to create the next circle they'd need. It was a very precise, but slightly too rotund addition to the snowman. The queen approached to create the head. As she was about to whisk it into existence, she thought better of it and grasped Anna's hands.
"Together?" she asked, her cheeks coloring slightly.
Anna laughed, a wind chime of a sound that Elsa knew she would never tire of hearing, "Of course."
The two of them gathered snow in their hands and piled them together atop the last sphere of the snowman's body. Anna turned her head and surveyed it, and couldn't help but notice its resemblance to Olaf's face. She pointed it out to her sister who bashfully admitted, "Perhaps I'm not the most creative snowman crafter. Whenever you made them on Christmas, Anna, they always looked unique."
It took a moment for those words to register with her. "Wait… you mean you saw those?" Anna asked, breathlessly. She supposed it wasn't nearly as remote a possibility as she had been assuming but for years she thought she built her army of snowmen completely in vain. She watched them melt when the warm weather rolled in, knowing with the certainty that only a child could possess, that her dear sister would never lay eyes on them.
Elsa simply nodded and laced her fingers between Anna's. "I did. Every year you must have made at least eight of them. You spent so much time on each one and they always ended up beautiful. They were breathtaking," she gazed over her sister's lips, freckled cheeks, long eyelashes and adorable nose and she sighed, "You were breathtaking. You always have been." With every word, a small puff of cold air escaped between them and Elsa leaned in. Anna quickly closed the gap, the kiss delicate at first in spite of how fast her heart was pounding, but as soon as Elsa relaxed into it, she went in deeper. Elsa was surprised by Anna's insistence but couldn't resist. The younger girl broke away for a moment to kiss the queen's jaw as Elsa wrapped her arms around Anna's waist, holding her closer.
As Anna friskily nipped at Elsa's lip, Kristoff made his presence known by clearing his throat. He would usually hate to intrude, but he felt they might be more comfortable, well, in private. He made his way back to the sled and gently rubbed Sven, calling out, "Would you like me to take you two back to the castle?" The sisters both flushed, ashamed that they had forgotten poor Kristoff in the moment. They swiftly returned to the seat and this time Anna sat across Elsa's lap with a devilish smile. She nestled against the blonde, grateful for the warmth. There was no way she was going to move from that position to reach for the discarded blanket that rested in lump on the floor of the sled. Her sister fussed about the princess catching pneumonia but a few warm pecks on her neck quickly silenced any argument.
At the end of the ride, the sisters thanked Kristoff profusely and Anna took another moment to jab at his official garments, which led to a furious blush on his end. They departed into the warmth of the castle, where Anna excitedly announced that she had a gift for Elsa.
The queen was surprised, "You didn't need to get me anything. You're a gift enough as it is."
Anna rolled her eyes at the comment and dragged her sister towards the giant tree, "Please. You think you're the only one who can be cute and sweet? What type of sister would I be to get you nothing on your first real Christmas in thirteen years?" Elsa nearly stopped dead in her tracks. Of course the exact number of years she was locked away was no great secret, but she was almost shocked to hear her sister rattle off the figure as if it was a fact that she had kept in the back of her mind for reference. Thirteen years. It had felt like eons. And suddenly, over the course of a day, it had somehow managed to feel like no time at all.
Her excited sister let go of her arm for a moment to retrieve the gift from beneath the expansive boughs of the pine tree. She presented it to the queen with a curtsey. It was hard to tell what it was from under the white cloth that was draped over it, but Elsa could swear it was making a noise not unlike cooing. She removed the cover to find a pair of small, cinnamon colored birds. Elsa looked to Anna.
"Turtle doves. They're a pair. Y'see, turtle doves mate for life and these two picked each other out from every other turtle dove in the kingdom and they'll be together for the rest of their lives. I was thinking they'd make wonderful castle pets," Anna explained, her face adorably caught between a blush and an ear-to-ear grin, "I was going to let you name them." She began to giggle a little as she watched her sister's expression. "Best part is, they're both lady turtle doves. I guess it's a pretty common thing that doves do," she shrugged, winking at her sister and giggling once again. The hint, in true Anna fashion, was anything but subtle. Elsa called for one of the servants to take the cage.
"We'll take good care of them, I'm sure. Thank you, Anna," the blonde was actually touched by the gesture. She wasn't sure how good she would be with raising birds in practice, but the thought was heartwarming. Anna beamed like a sunspot and she cast a pair of moony eyes her sister's way.
"Could we sit by the fireplace and drink hot chocolate for awhile? Read a book and share a blanket?" Anna asked, hands folded innocently. She had always wanted to warm up by the grand fireplace with Elsa and she found she couldn't waste the current opportunity.
"I had the staff light it in advance and there's a cup of hot cocoa out there. You usually don't ask for much, so it's mercifully easy to prepare surprises for you," Elsa noted, "I couldn't decide on what book you'd want me to read. Do you have a suggestion?" When she said she had planned the perfect Christmas, she meant every word of it.
She walked with Anna into the parlor where the grandiose fire roared in the splendid, though criminally underused hearth. Much like she had planned, Anna's favorite blanket sat in front of it and there was a steaming mug of cocoa. She was impressed with the execution, but she knew that the palace staff wanted them both to be happy just as much as any parents would, so the care they took in crafting the scene didn't surprise her one bit. Anna stood, enjoying the warmth, and made her way to the blanket, patting the wooden floor beside her for Elsa to join. The queen draped her arm over her sister's shoulder as the princess took a large sip of the warm liquid. Anna had half cocooned herself into the warm quilt and Elsa draped the remaining portion over her legs.
They stared at the crackling flames for a few moments in idyllic silence until Anna said, "I don't think we'll be needing a book, your highness." She reclined on the floor and Elsa followed suit. Anna rested her head across Elsa's chest, immediately soothed by the gentle rise and fall of her sister's breath. She placed her hand on the queen's stomach and exhaled, "I never thought that being still could be so fulfilling." Elsa felt the hours of sleep she missed creeping up on her as she gingerly rubbed Anna's arms. Despite the princess's faintly ticklish fingers tracing a pattern along her abdomen, she noticed her eyelids growing heavy and found herself drifting off to sleep.
When she awoke to a faint rocking, she was incredibly confused. She felt her cheek pressed against something soft and warm and realized she was no longer on the floor. Opening her eyes fully, she realized that Anna was carrying her bridal style towards her bedroom, just feet away from the towering white door with its blue snowflake pattern that was wide open, as it had been since their first night after the great thaw.
"Anna?" she asked, sincerely confused, "What are you doing?"
"Oh, don't worry. You're not heavy at all," Anna said lightly, dodging the question with an expert shrug. Elsa furrowed her brows and Anna tried again, "You were up all night doing everything for me. I thought you could use some sleep. And I thought waking you would, you know, defeat the point."
When Anna entered the room, she placed Elsa on the bed and then sat down next to her. Her smile seemed like it would never fade as she brushed an errant lock of blonde hair from her sister's face. "Merry Christmas, Elsa," she leaned down for a chaste kiss from her tired sister. Elsa glanced up and caressed Anna's cheek. The corners of her lips twitched and she suddenly pulled the unguarded Anna down on top of her, tracing her spine with light swirls and tangling her fingers into her hair.
From under half-hooded eyes, Elsa purred, "I was hoping you might want to stay the night? After all…" Elsa gazed upwards, and smirked as Anna followed her line of sight. On the headboard hung a fresh sprig of mistletoe.
The princess sighed, shaking her head and leaning in for a long kiss, "I don't know how you do it, Elsa." She sat up to properly straddle the queen but to her surprise, the blonde caught her off balance and rolled on top of her, grinning darkly all the while.
"I don't know what you mean, darling," Elsa joked, watching the color surface on Anna's cheeks, "It's just holiday spontaneity."
They both took a breath as Anna gasped, "Best Christmas, ever."